Canadian libraries and academic institutions join forces to give access to sources exploring Canada’s history

Institutions across Canada can now benefit from full access to Frontier Life: Borderlands Settlement and Colonial Encounters, a digital collection of primary sources offering a glimpse into Canada’s historic past.

Consortia Canada, Adam Matthew and 18 leading academic institutions have collaborated to open this content to libraries and educational institutions across Canada, including all library types: public, post-secondary, special, archives, museums and K-12 schools. The collaboration unlocks important primary sources to provide the broader community with a comparative view on the various colonial frontiers across the globe.

“Access to Frontier Life not only brings unique primary sources to our teaching and research community, but also helps to make them available to Canadians beyond university settings,” commented Gabrielle Prefontaine, Dean of the Library, University of Winnipeg. “The Frontier Life model exemplifies the power university libraries have in creating new avenues for open scholarly information sharing”

Frontier Life is a digital resource designed to enrich teaching and research, examining settlement, existence and interactions at the edge of the Anglophone world from 1650-1920. With a vast array of primary source material previously unavailable in digital form, this resource enables research into the many dynamics of frontier existence and its lasting influence across multiple regions. Primary sources from Canada include archives from the Glenbow Museum and the Hudson’s Bay Company Archives Library, Archives of Manitoba.

“The Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) is delighted that Adam Matthew and Consortia Canada, with the financial commitment of eighteen universities, have opened the wealth of primary source documents in Frontier Life, expanding access to all public libraries and educational institutions across Canada,” noted Clare Appavoo, CRKN Executive Director. “CRKN is very supportive of this unique purchasing collaboration, which is opening access to digital archival collections beyond universities; promoting a more accessible, open form of knowledge dissemination across education sectors.”

CRKN registered institutions automatically have full access to Frontier Life. Please click here to visit the resource. For all other Canadian public, post-secondary, special, archives, museums, and K-12 libraries, please click here for access details.

This collaboration was made possible with sponsorship from the following institutions:

  • Brock University
  • University of Calgary
  • Lakehead University
  • University of Manitoba
  • McGill University
  • University of Ottawa
  • McMaster University
  • University of Saskatchewan
  • Mount Royal University
  • University of Toronto
  • Ryerson University
  • University of Victoria
  • Simon Fraser University
  • University of Winnipeg
  • University of Alberta
  • Wilfrid Laurier University
  • University of British Columbia
  • York University